Are you Holding Yourself Back in Ways You Don’t Even Realize?

I am. I’m fairly self-aware and have been working on internal areas where I’m holding myself back—crashing through the blocks one by one—but the realization of other ways in which I’m holding back came during a conversation with a friend the other day.

I have to preface this story with some background info. I’m a minimalist. I DO NOT like clutter. I believe in quality over quantity—I’d rather have one nice piece (of anything), than ten poor quality items. I’d rather have a walk-in library full of books than walk-in closet full of clothes. And I’d rather buy a month away at an exotic location than a big ticket item like a new car—I believe in investing in experience over stuff.

I drive a 10 year old Volkswagen Passat with almost 200,000 miles on it. My husband has been telling me to buy a new car for several years now and I keep saying, “Why? This one runs fine!”

Seriously though. When I think about buying a new car I envision hundred dollar bills going up in flames. According to Trusted Choice Independent Insurance Agents, a car depreciates about 11% as you’re driving it off the lot, 25% after the first year, 46% after three years, and 63% after five years of ownership.

That means if you spend $31,252 on a car, it’ll be worth $11,629 after five years. You just lost $19,623. Plus, your insurance is higher on a new vehicle so that’s more money down the drain, and if you have to take out a loan (thankfully we haven’t done that in about 20 years, we pay cash for our cars), the interest is additional money that goes up in smoke.

So now imagine how much money you lose over a 10 or 15 year period if you buy a new car every three to five years! Oh my goodness….That $19,623 would be a loss of $58,869 if you bought a new $31,252 vehicle every three years within 15 years—$58,869!!! That’s what we paid for our land that’s now worth triple plus because we built a cabin! See what I’m sayin’…..cars are a waste of moola!

Cars depreciate; land and real estate appreciates—we will make money on that land and cabin.

Therefore, I don’t wanna buy a new car.

However, I recently had a slight shift in mindset that got me started on thinking about what kind of car I would buy if I were to buy a new car.

My friend who drives a 10 year old Malibu—instead of buying a new car every three to five years bought a second home in Florida, paying it off in only five years (because that will appreciate, she’ll make money on that deal)—feels exactly the same way I do about spending money on vehicles.

We were talking about how to get high level clients. She’s a real estate agent and is working on $1.5 million residential home listing.

Our conversation went like this:

Friend: “I’ve got a possible listing for a $1.5 million home. So what do I do? Show up in my ten year old Malibu with a palm tree sticker in the back window?”

Me: Purses lips and nods (while thinking I see your dilemma).

Friend: “I feel like I need to buy a new car so I can level up, but it’s such a waste of money.”

Me: “That’s exactly how I feel. My husband’s been telling me to buy a new car for a few years, but when I think about buying a car I envision money going up in flames.”

Friend: “So do I! A few of my agent friends have really nice cars; they believe first impressions are important. I don’t know what to do.” She says with a sigh. “And then what about when I have listings for homes around $150,000 and I show up in a Mercedes?”

Me (this came out of nowhere by the way): “You can’t hold yourself back for those who are moving slower than you are. Reframe your negative belief and think about yourself as an example for what you can accomplish through hard work? Maybe they’ll look at you and think to themselves ‘if she can do it, I can too’. Be the leader. Be the light.”

Friend: Looked at me with her lips pursed lightly and nodded, “Hmmm…..I don’t know. I don’t know what I’ll do….I have the money, I just don’t want to waste it like that.”

Me: “I do too. And I feel exactly the same way.” (Yes, I know, it’s very UNAmerican of us to want to hang on to our money rather than spend it as fast as it comes in).

As I walked away I thought to myself, I’ve been holding myself back for the very same reason; I don’t want to shine too brightly. How else have I been holding myself back? And what about me walking around saying, “Let your light shine” when I don’t let MY light shine. Uummmmm……slightly hypocritical I’d say!

People come to you to teach you the lessons you need to learn. You teach the things you need to learn. So apparently the Universe is sending me a message—telling me to open my eyes wider and dig deeper into my soul.

I still very seriously see buying a new car as a waste of money. But, after journaling around this, I also don’t see the value in it because I don’t want to look too fancy pants around my family and some of my friends. Another thing that came up for me is, am I worthy of spending that much money on myself?

HOWEVER, by thinking that way, I AM HOLDING MYSELF BACK! I’m holding myself back from upleveling. I am NOT being the light that I so proudly think I am. I am not being the leader that I so want to be.

Let’s not get lost in where the message is here. It really isn’t about the car. It’s about so much more. It’s about deeper emotional stuff. It’s about BLOCKS.

I sat down and looked at all of the ways I hold myself back so I don’t make someone else feel small.

I will stay quiet so someone else can have the spotlight. I dress very plainly so my outfits aren’t too smart—God forbid someone may give me a compliment. Sometimes I will actually get dressed, and then change quickly before I leave the house to put something else on that’s less cute.

I keep accomplishments and wins to myself so I don’t make others around me feel bad if they’re having a bad day/week/month/year. When I receive a compliment I quickly turn the conversation back to the person who gave it to me and compliment her instead of simply saying thank you.

And I could go on and on.

There’s more work to be done.

There always is. So don’t get frustrated if you’ve just started and haven’t seen any results. And if you haven’t taken that first step yet because it just feels too overwhelming, know that you are not alone in your journey. Just keep taking one small step at a time, until you can take bigger and bigger strides in your inner soul work.

No one has this down perfectly. Even the gurus continue learning and growing daily. You don’t know what you don’t know until you know.

So grab a pen and a notebook, find a quiet space and start writing. Just write whatever comes to mind after reading this post. Where are you holding yourself back? How do you hold yourself back? Keep writing and writing until you have nothing left. The answers are inside of you.

If you’d like to share with a comment below, I’d love to help.

You can’t hold yourself back for those who are moving slower than you are. Reframe your negative belief and think about yourself as an example for what you can accomplish through hard work? Maybe they’ll look at you and think to themselves ‘if she can do it, I can too’. Be the leader. Be the light.


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